, 1863

A Mystery Explained.—The recent fire in Columbus, Ga., brought to light immense quantities of sugar stored away in cellars and warehouses. These hiding places were threatened with the devouring element, and the heartless speculators were compelled to bring forth their contents before the eyes of an indignant and outraged people. The Times says that the principal street of the city was filled with hogsheads of sugar, an article which had become a costly luxury.


How Lee’s Army Keeps Warm.—The following, from a correspondent of the Fayetteville (N. C.) Observer, writing from Fredericksburg, forcibly recalls Roderick Dhu and his men, as described in the “Lady of the Lake”:

The health of the army is remarkably good. There are but few tents, but this army is beginning to regard tents as a nuisance. Much soldiering has made them very sharp, and given them a full knowledge of the law of self-preservation, and they seem to have the same instinct as the beaver, for their operations very much resemble the habits of that animal. Brigades move about near thick woods to get supplies of fuel and for benefit to health. When the troops stop to camp you see them scatter about and become very busy, and in the course of an hour or two the whole brigade has disappeared. You can hear voices and noises, and see moving things, and you almost thin it’s a vision or a haunted place; but after some painful suspense, you are enabled to understand this sudden and strange “transmogrification.” The drum beat summons the men to duty or inspection and, all at once, from holes, clay roots and hollow trees all around, you can see hundreds of heads protruding, and then the shoulders and finally the whole body, and then the entire brigade appears before you as it was a few hour ago. The soldiers have dug out holes, caves and cellars, over which a roof of close brush, covered with a thick coating of dirt to turn ruin and weather, while the tenement below is warmed by a snug and well-filled fireplace cut in the solid earth on the side; and such are the winter quarters of Lee’s army.


“Tricks of the Rebel Agents in Europe.”—Under this heading, the New York Herald of the 13th inst., has the following.

We find in the columns of the Paris journal La Patrie a statement which is published for the purpose of inflaming the minds of the French people against the North. The Patrie says it finds “in an American correspondence, worthy of entire belief, the announcement of a fact which will create satisfaction in France and England. Delegates from the seceded States have met and decided to send twenty millions of francs (four millions of dollars) as a participation in the fund for the relief of the working classes of Europe. Mr. Jefferson Davis has demanded from President Lincoln the authorization for the export of cotton to the above named sum, which will be sent to Southampton, Nantes and Havre. Such an action is worthy of all praise. It proves that the Confederates appreciate the close association between their interests and those of our working classes. It remains to be seen whether the Government at Washington will allow European vessels to enter the Southern ports for the purpose of loading with the cotton in question. We may surely hope that such permission will not be refused.”

Com. Ingraham’s Raid a FailureA Court of Inquiry.—Under the heading “Exaggeration,” the Richmond Enquirer says:

Now, the Confederacy has been made the dupe of a most notable sample of this species of imposition. It was said, printed, reprinted, echoed and reverberated over the land, that, on a certain night last week, our two iron-clad ships at Charleston had sunk two, disabled one, and dispersed the rest of the blockading fleet off Charleston harbor. Now we learn with pain, but with too great certainty, that no ship was sunk and no ship was disabled, that no damage, in short, was done to the blockading squadron, which, consisting of wooden ships only, avoided a fight with iron-clads, and most judiciously, until they should bring up some iron-clads of their own, which they immediately did.

Further, we regret too say that the Princess Royal, a large British steamer, laden with by far the most precious cargo ever sent to Charleston, had been captured the night before by a Federal gunboat–that she was lying alongside that gunboat as a prize, within half a mile of the shore batteries–that the naval authorities at Charleston had been made aware of her capture, of her situation, and of her value, and that our victorious iron-clads did not rescue her from that gunboat, but allowed her to be carried out to sea along with the rest of the fleet.

One would much rather praise our sailors’ achievements, but the truth must be told. We have heard that an official inquiry is to be made into this mismanagement of an enterprise which may never have so favorable a chance again.


Strife for the Dead Body of a Priest.—Rev. M. Forde, for many years Catholic priest in this city, died at Freeport on Tuesday of last week, leaving a request that his remains be carried to Dixon and placed by the side of those of Father Tierney in the cemetery. At the funeral at the Catholic Church in this city, on Saturday, Father Herbert, on behalf of himself and his people at Sterling, demanded the body for burial there. The numerical strength and determination of Father Forde’s flock was too evident to the Sterling priest and the people present, and the remains were properly buried. During the night following, about sixty men, armed with shotguns, pistols, knives and bludgeons, came from Sterling, exhumed the body, and removed it by rail, before the faithful of the city were aware of the movement.

Father Forde was greatly loved by his people here, who propose to petition Bishop Duggan for an order for the return of the body, and that it be interred at the place and according to the request of Father Forde while living.–Dixon (Ill.) Telegraph.


MARCH 2, 1863

From Vicksburg.

Our Western newspaper communications are few and far between. The latest from Vicksburg is contained in the following items from the Vicksburg Citizen, published on the evening of the 20th ult.:

More Shelling.–About eleven o’clock yesterday the mortars of the enemy again opened on the lower part of the city, and kept it up all the balance of the day. They fired at intervals of about every seven minutes, and had their fuse ranged to eighteen seconds, which appeared to be quite a long interval between the report from the mortar and the explosion of the shell. They have calculated the distance very nicely, and throw their shells with considerable accuracy. Some of the gunboats were in constant motion between the mortars and the fleet above. An hour or two before night several of our lower guns opened on them with splendid effect, and silenced the Yankee batteries immediately. It was truly encouraging to witness the accuracy with which our guns were handled–every shot telling with effect. They could be distinctly seen to fall immediately about the Yankees and to burst over their heads. It was believed that their mortars had been disabled, as no more shelling was attempted. It is now demonstrated that our guns can not only reach the Yankee battery, but far beyond, and that our gunners know how to handle their pieces to the best advantage.

Last evening there was a tremendous steam and smoke in the fleet above, indicating a readiness for some move. This morning everything was quiet, and the number of boats seemed to be greatly diminished. There must be a large number above the bend about the mouth of Old river.

We see no later correspondence from Vicksburg than the 19th, and learn little of the movements of the enemy from that. The river was reported to have reached a point within five feet of the highest altitude last year, and the weatherwise were predicting an unprecedented flood this Spring. As the levees had not been repaired, the whole country would be inundated, and it was confidently believed the Yankees would soon be compelled to suspend their campaigning in that quarter. In the shelling of the 18th nobody was hurt . . . It appears that on the 19th the Yankee compliments of shot and shell were returned with some effect. The siege of Vicksburg seems to be a slow and unprofitable business.


Events seem scarce and rare in the midst of war. People stretch and yawn in mere ennui and lassitude when a day fails to develop some stirring event. They are impatient even of those reactionary intervals of quiet and repose which follow the great throes and convulsions of war. The morbid, unhealthy craving for excitement engendered by these evil times makes them restless, listless and dissatisfied during even an approximate return to the quiet of peace! What a wonderful change has taken place since the good old days when the arrival of a foreign steamer–the news of a railway accident or a shipwreck would set the town agog. Will we ever get back again to the normal condition of peace, and learn to feed our love of excitement on every day food?


British Ships in the Gulf.—There are now no less than forty British ships of war in or near the Gulf, from a line-of-battle ship to the smallest dispatch boat, including eleven heavy first class frigates, all carrying the Armstrong gun, which will send a ball through a target nearly six miles. The whole of the force is arranged so as to be concentrated, if necessary, at any point in the Gulf within twelve or fourteen days.


Whisky.—A commission merchant in this city sold, a few days ago, eleven barrels of whisky for the enormous sum of $8,000, being more than $700 per barrel. This will do for our children to remember.–Atlanta Intelligencer.

Ah, Major, we really hope our children will forget that their fathers were ever so fond of whisky as such a transaction would imply.

Affairs Across the River.

The Mississippian publishes the following communication:

I observe among the items you copy from the Whig of the 19th inst., the following:

“The Yankees are reported to have taken possession of Duvall’s Bluff on the Arkansas river, together with the fortifications and railroad depot. Our troops have abandoned St. Charles, on White river. Matters in Arkansas are said to bear a grave aspect. We look for no change under the present regime.”

We had no “fortifications” at Duvall’s Bluff. After the capture of the Post of Arkansas, (a man trap) the battery at St. Charles, consisting of two eight-inch shell guns (no solid shot), were sent to Duvall’s Bluff, and there captured by the Yankees, the officer in command abandoning the guns to an inexperienced Master’s Mate of the Navy, who had no control over the detail from the army who had the guns in charge.

This is the third time that the officer in charge of the battery has failed to do his duty. A “melting of liver” seems to be his great fault.

I am just from Arkansas and write nothing that I cannot substantiate before a court of inquiry or court martial.

There are no Yankee troops in Arkansas, expect a few troops at Helena–say 2,000.

Gen. Holmes is at Little Rock, with General Hindman’s and Gen. Henry McCullough’s division in winter quarters.

Arkansas is in a very say condition–a change is imperatively demanded. The troops have no confidence in Gens. Holmes or Hindman.

There is good fighting material in the State, but they require a fighting General to direct and command them.


Notice to Absentees of the
2nd Battalion Ga. Vols.

All members of the 2nd Battalion of Georgia Volunteers that are absent from their Companies, who have not already reported, will do so at once for instructions.

I have been detailed by Lt. General Longstreet to recruit for the Battalion. Persons who have not been regularly enrolled will be received as Volunteers, and allowed to join either Company in the Battalion. The bounty of Fifty dollars ($50.00) will be paid to each Recruit.

The following extract from the instructions of the Commanding General will show the necessity and justice of absentees being sent back to their Companies immediately:

“The Commanding General desires that you impress upon the people at home, that their fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers, now composing the army, cannot be permitted to go to them because of the great number of stragglers who are at home or away from their positions. Return the stragglers and we have the assurance that ten (10) can be permitted to be absent from a Company instead of two.

“Let all understand, if we can fill our ranks by Spring, we shall surely make short work of this war.”

Absentees failing to report promptly will be treated as deserters and dealt with accordingly.

C. R. Redding,
Captain and Recruiting Officer.


The Rebel Navy Building in England.—The London Daily News of the 14th ult. publishes an article giving an account of the steam ships of war building in England and Scotland, ostensibly for the Emperor of China, but really for the confederates. The statements are definite and will command the attention of the British government and secure its action, unless it has determined to allow its neutrality laws to be boldly defied on account of its interest in the success of the rebellion. The News gives a list of a dozen ironclads now building, and states that more than fifty steam vessels of various descriptions might properly be included in the list. We quote a portion of the article:

“On the premises belonging to the Messrs. Laird, at Birkenhead, in a covered shed or ‘annexed’ to the main yard, two powerful war steamers are in course of construction ‘for the emperor of China.’ Their burden is about 220o0 tons. They are of the ram class, are partially iron-plated, and measure say 200 feet long by 36 feet beam, and 18 feet deep. Their engines, now nearly ready, are ranked nominally at 300 horse-power, but each will work up to a thousand, and will give them a very high rate of speed. In the main yard of the same premises another steam ram is being built, also ‘for the emperor of China.’ Her length is about 15 feet, by 28 feet beam, and depth from 16 to 18 feet. She is partially iron-plated, like the two others in the annex, and the three are expected to be ready for sea in two months from the present time, perhaps sooner. Capt. Bullock, who commanded the ‘s90,’ is daily in attendance, superintending their progress. Does this gentleman hold his commission from his Celestial Majesty or from Jeff Davis? In the yard of Messrs. W. C. Miller & Son, Liverpool, there is nearly completed a wooden, screw-propelled vessel of about 450 to 500 tons. She has been constructed upon the plan of the American coasters, being nearly flat-bottomed. She is built for fast sailing under canvas, and under steam is expected to run 15 knots an hour. She is to be armed with 9-pounder guns, and is expected to be ready for sea in the course of four weeks. It is commonly reported that she belongs to the confederates. Messrs. Thompson Brothers are building, on the Clyde, a powerful armor-clad steam ram, ‘for the emperor of China,’ to be ready for sea on the 9th of April next. She is about 250 feet long, by 45 feet beam, and 35 feet in depth. Her armor plates are from 4½ to 5 inches thick. Her engines will be of 500 horse-power each.”

The other instances mentioned are substantially of the same sort. The News says that the term “Chinese” is in common use among the shipbuilders to signify the confederates, and that it is generally understood; and it calls on the government to institute an inquiry at once as to the character of these vessels. The following statement is also made by the News as to the money furnished to the rebels by British capitalists:

“The slaveholders’ conspiracy is largely, nay mainly, indebted for its success up to the present time to the material aid which has been extended to it by British capitalists. Two years before if broke out, their co-operation had been secured through the instrumentality of the highest diplomatic agents of the United States then in this country. Large advances were promised upon mortgages of enormous quantities of cotton, tobacco and rice; nor was the fact concealed by the democratic party, that in the event of secession and war, almost any amount of pecuniary aid would be procured from this quarter. These powerful combinations in support of the slaveholders’ conspiracy comprised the monetary, shipping and commercial interests. As much as £16,000 and even £20,000 have been subscribed by individual members of these associations; and in one instance a sum of £5,000,000 sterling can be directly traced as the financial result of a single operation. Not many days ago, lists were exhibited by a confederate agent, in which figured the names of Manchester men of high standing for large sums which they had just recently subscribed in aid of the confederates.” ->

The London correspondent of the Boston Post, having alluded to the facts stated by the London News, makes this comment:

“The fact is the entire shipbuilding force, and any amount of capital, and the commercial ‘enterprise,’ and political hatred and jealousy of this entire nation are all concentrated and combined with the confederates, to sweep American commerce from the ocean. And they will do it, too, unless our government through Mr. Adams’ demand and insist that these vessels be restrained. They talk of a foreign enlistment act, when any such measure is not worth the price of a sheet of paper. They seem to think Jonathan struck down beyond all hope of resistance; for were France the other power instead of the United States, such a state of things would not exist for a single week. Unless President Lincoln’s government shows some firmness on this subject, and puts in a remonstrance that means something, they might as well make peace at once, for to fight the confederates openly, and the British nation under a mask, is altogether too great odds.”


General News Summary.

Washington dispatches state with positiveness that the paper duty will be taken off before Congress adjourns. There is strong opposition in the committee of ways and means, but the majority of the House is decided for remission.

More murders, and robberies, and outrages, and deviltries are reported at Detroit than in any other city of its size in the country.

The number of paupers in London is 98,467–an increase of 4000 over 1861. In Wales the increase is 1500, and the total number 79,567. In Lancashire and Cheshire, 99 in every thousand persons are paupers, in the technical and official sense of the word.–that is, poor people supported by the poor rates and wholly dependent upon charity.

The Pennsylvania legislature has divorced Mrs. Nellins from her husband, who, it was claimed, was drunk when he was married, stuck out his tongue during the ceremony, and has never lived with his wife. Cause enough.

The prospects of the Petroleum trade in Canada are clouded. Out of about thirty wells all but two have ceased to flow, and the daily product is fallen off from 12,000 barrels to 400 a day.

At a concert lately given in Mason county, Illinois, a copperhead got into a terrible rage, kicked up a disturbance and left the house in a swearing passion, at the singing of what he called a “d––d abolition song!” The song was the “Star Spangled Banner.”

The canal across the isthmus of Suez, which has been so long talked of, is half finished. By next year it will have progressed so far that all the coal destined for the steamship companies, which has now to be transported around the Cape of Good Hope, will be sent to the Red Sea by canal. In three or four years the whole work will be completed, at a cost of $40,000,000, and the ancient track of commerce be again resumed.


MARCH 4, 1863


From the Soldiers.

An officer of the 15th Connecticut, writing from Newport News, is justly indignant at the Connecticut “Copperheads.” He says:

“What do the good people of New Haven think of the copperhead nominations and platform? There must be some ‘demoralization’ there, if such monstrous iniquity can go unrebuked. I am astonished beyond measure that the democrats of Connecticut should be so bold in their disloyalty, and it seems to me they are very short-sighted; but I tell you they will work upon the fears of those who dread a draft, or the conscription act, and upon the feelings of those who have lost friends in the army, to such an extent that, unless you are on the alert, they will beat you. I cannot believe that you will allow them to do it. It would be a burning disgrace to the State, and a source of sorrow and mortification to the whole loyal country.”

The following is an extract from another army letter:

“You can have no idea of the feeling that the bare possibility of the election of such a man has upon the soldiers here. It is not that a professional Democrat is nominated; for politics we care nothing. We hail any one as a friend who extends to us a helping hand, whatever his political antecedents or associates; and consider not more our enemies those who are in armed rebellion in front, than those who are plotting treason and trying to execute it behind our backs. In accordance with military principles, the enemies in the rear require our first attention.

“I hope the people of Connecticut have not so far degenerated as to allow the election of an arch traitor. It would be a disgrace that would go far to reconcile me, and, in fact, nearly all her sons who are now fighting her battles, to a voluntary exile from her borders.

“Should such be the result, it would be but a just retribution for the Union armies now in the field to fall back into the free States, removing thereto the theatre of the war, and let them see and realize the infernal spirits which animate the fiends now in arms against the best and most liberal Constitution ever bequeathed to an undeserving people—undeserving, if such shall prove to be the guardianship of their heritage.

“No father could have exercised toward his children more tenderness or a more self-denying spirit, than has Governor Buckingham toward the soldiers now in the field, and I pity the cowardly hearts of those who now behind their backs and in the hour of their sorest trial shall betray him or them, should they ever meet face to face.”


The Raleigh (N. C.) Standard asserts as within its knowledge, that “there are destructive officeholders in North Carolina who ignore the Confederate Constitution and republican institutions. They are avowedly in favor of a military despotism or a king. They are tired of freedom of speech and a free press, and they would to-morrow, if they could, vote to change the character of our institutions.”


A formal address of “The soldiers of Indiana to the citizens of Indiana,” says: “We expect to come home some day. We will either come triumphantly rejoicing over the accomplishment of the object for which we have already endured so much, or we will come humiliated and disheartened at our defeat and the consequent desolation of our country and our homes. In either event we will remember and honor those who have aided and encouraged us by their influence at home, and visit those who have sought to defeat us with a retribution proportionate to the extent of the evil they have brought upon us and our country.”

Vicksburg.–A telegram to the Richmond Enquirer of February 28th is as follows:

Mobile, Feb. 27.–The correspondent of the Memphis Appeal, writing from Vicksburg on the 23d, says: “An enormous fleet appeared this morning, larger than has been before witnessed from this point. Everything looks [as] if preparations were almost ready for the enemy to commence a forward movement. The monster force before this city cannot long remain in idleness. Persons well acquainted with the country bordering Yazoo Pass and the Coldwater say if the enemy succeed in getting their gunboats into the Coldwater, they will never get out; and that an army of one thousand could hold at bay and destroy an invading force of fifty thousand in that country.”


The Times undertakes to say that Dr. Crary never expressed a wish that “very soldier that enlisted from Hartford would be killed.” Suppose that he did not use the precise expression. Did he not make the following infamous return to the town clerk? Will the Times give us their opinion of the said return?

Mr. Owen died in the service of his country. Here is the return:

Certificate Birth. April 25, 1862, by Dr. Crary.

Father: Leverett B. Owen, North Main st.
Occupation: “Off South murdering as many of our Brethren there as possible.”


From New Orleans.

The planters of Louisiana had held several meetings at New Orleans. Gen. Banks promised to aid them in taking abandoned plantations on the same terms offered by the quartermasters. Every thing that can properly be done will be to restore lost Negroes to masters, and enlistments of Negroes who have been at work on the plantations should cease. An attempt at one meeting to pass a resolution in favor of the revival of state laws was defeated by a large majority. Gen. Banks attended one of the meetings and gave assurances that government has no feelings of hostility to the people here and that he wished to do all he could consistently with duty, for the peace, prosperity and happiness of the people of New Orleans. An order has been issued by Gen. Banks forbidding the taking of Negroes from plantations by any officer or other person in the service of the United States without authority from headquarters.

An order of Gen. Banks explains the system of labor adopted for the year, and planters assenting thereto are to be assisted as far as practicable without violence in inducing their Negroes to return. Negroes are to be secured sufficient and wholesome food by officers of the government and a share of the crops they produce. Those not thus engaged will be employed on public works, without pay, except food, clothing, medical assistance and such instruction as may be furnished them.


Scarcity Adds to Value.–Woman is vastly more influential in America than in England, yet it is here that they are the minority! Thus say the statistics: “There is, according to the census, an excess of 733,258 males over females in the United States. This fact is noteworthy, and ought to quiet the apprehension of those who feared the war would cause an undue preponderance of women after peace was declared. No matter how bloody the war may be, or how long it lasts, it cannot make way with three-quarters of a million of lives. The waste of life may make the sexes nearly even, but even then we shall be better off than England, where the females are in excess by nearly a million, and the social problem of the day is how to provide them with husbands and occupations.—Home Journal.


A smart trick was practiced recently by a map publisher in New York, to avoid the duty on foreign printing paper. He sent duplicate plates of his maps to London at an expense of $10, and printed heavy editions there of each kind of map, buying paper there at 11 pence, which sells in this country for 39 cents per pound, then shipping the maps to New York at less than one-eighth cent per copy freight, without duty, as the duties on maps are nothing, but on raw paper 35 cents on the dollar.


The Providence Post expresses its unqualified opposition to the conscription bill as lately passed by the Senate:

“This bill places the able-bodied men of the whole country in the hands of the President. He is not to call upon a State for its quota of needed troops, but after completing the work of enrollment, he takes whom he pleases. The State can have no voice as to exempts; there are to be none, save such as are made by the law of Congress. The States can have no certain control over its militia for any purpose whatsoever. When troops are called for they are to be taken without being organized or offered by the Governors, as heretofore. Instead, from first to last, State lines are ignored, and State authority is repudiated. The able-bodied men of the whole country are at the disposal of the President alone, and his instruments alone are to bring them forth from their homes and command them in the field. With such a law upon the statute book—with the judiciary of the country tied hand and foot—with the Governors powerless—with the writ of liberty suspended—with martial law everywhere—what hope is there or can there be for State Rights? What is our Government but a consolidated Despotism? We ask the people to think of these things. Perhaps it is too late to remedy the evils we complain of, but it is not our fault that it is too late. It is at least not too late for honest men and patriots to speak their indignation against men who are forging fetters for their feet and chains for their wrists.”


The British government is to advance the sum of £3,000,000 for the construction of a railway from Halifax to Quebec. Canada is to assume 5/12th of the liability and the two lower provinces 7/12th between them.

The Washington correspondent of the New York Commercial writes: “While we have rumors that such men as Edward Everett are heading movements to obtain from the President, if possible, a revocation of his Emancipation Proclamation; and while Gen. Banks appears to have entirely disregarded it in Louisiana—it is more than probable that Congress will, prior to its adjournment, pass an act abrogating and annulling all claims to the services of labor of persons of African descent, who shall on the 4th of March, 1864, be held to involuntary service or labor in any State of the Union. Loyal owners of slaves so emancipated are to be compensated by the United States.”


There is a reason why the Northwest is more impatient at the prolongation of the war than the Northeast. The West is losing, and the East gaining, wealth. A late number of a Minnesota journal quotes prices there as follows: Flour, four dollars per barrel; corn, forty-five cents per bushel; dressed hogs, three dollars and twenty-five cents per hundred; hams, four cents per pound; butter, ten cents per pound; eggs, eight cents per dozen, and other articles equally low. In the river counties of Iowa, beef is only two dollars and fifty cents per hundred, or at the rate of two and a half cents per pound, and in the same State last winter, not a hundred miles from the Mississippi, pork was sold dressed at less than a dollar per hundred. The cause of this is the increased cost of railroad transportation. Owing to the closing of the Mississippi by the blockade, the freight offered to the railroads exceed their capacity, and the directors have enormously increased their rates. Flour, which used to be transported from the towns on the Mississippi by railroad through to New York at ninety cents per barrel, now costs to move it more than thrice that sum; and as for corn, it costs the price of five bushels to send one to market.


Large Woolen Factory to be Established.–We learn from a Worcester paper that Messrs. Jordan, March & Co., of Boston, having purchased of Hon. Isaac Davis, for $8,000, the Lower Junction machine shop in that city, with twelve acres of land, will run there, by steam, one of the largest woolen factories in New England. It will have sixteen sets of machinery, and will employ between two and three hundred hands. A number of houses will be built contiguous to the mill, and the whole investment will not be far from a hundred and fifty thousand dollars.


Senator Henderson, of Missouri, opposed exempting ministers from military duty, under Wilson’s conscription set. During the debate he said: “Treason has been preached by ministers, at least in Massachusetts and Missouri, and they have been in a great degree instrumental in bringing about this war. If I had my way, I would put them all in the field, and make them fight the battles they had done so much to inaugurate.” The clergy of all denominations are now included in the conscription. The unmarried are to go first!

, 1863

False Dispatches, &c.–“As great a liar as a bulletin” is an old proverb.

A few days ago a telegram was seen in the paper announcing the fine condition of the Army of the Potomac, praising its generals and subordinate officers, and assuring the public that all was ready for the army to be led on to battle. All this comes very apropos for the Spring elections in New England. Since then we also learn the following from the telegraphic columns:

What the Soldiers Think of the Conscript Bill.—An army correspondent of the Times says the passage of the conscription bill through the Senate is the occasion of much joy in the army. No one single act on the part of the Government will do so much towards reviving the spirits of the soldiers as the enactment and the enforcement of this measure.”

Are these things so? Or are they rather the false and dissembled dispatches of a government driven to the necessity of influencing the public mind under the control of censors?

In this connection the following extract from Bourrienne’s life of Napoleon will interest the reader. That distinguished biographer says:

“The historian of these times out to put no faith in the bulletins, dispatches, notes, proclamations, which have emanated from Bonaparte or passed through his hands. For my part, I believe that the proverb, ‘As great a liar as a bulletin,’ has as much truth in it as the axiom that two and two make four.

“The bulletins always announced what Bonaparte wished to be true; but to form a proper judgment on any fact, counter bulletins must be sought for and consulted. It is well known, too, that Bonaparte placed great importance on the place whence he dated his bulletins: thus he dated his decrees respecting the theatres and Hamburg beef at Moscow.

“The official documents were almost always altered. There was falsity in the exaggerated descriptions of his victories, and falsity again in the suppression of his reverse and losses. A writer, if he took his materials from the bulletins and official correspondence, would compose a romance rather than a true history.”

So says an impartial historian, and yet the Rev. John S. C. Abbot has written a so-called History of the Civil War in America, the material of which is wholly composed of bulletins, extracts from abolition sheets, and one-sided proclamations. Very reliable that!

When Bonaparte was in Egypt his official dispatches represented in a false light the condition of his army; he suppressed his defeats and losses, and imposed on the people of France by having them suppose that what was disastrous to France was for eh glory and their good.

It is hoped that the example of Bonaparte is not followed by our Government and officers. The truth and the whole truth ought to come out. It was gratifying on one occasion to see one of our Senators from Maine raise his voice against giving the people false information. It is now particularly important that all dispatches should not be too readily credited.


Lord Derby, in his recent speech in Parliament, attributes the stoppage of the mills as much to the overstocked markets of the world as to the failure in cotton supply caused by the American war. In other words, the war is more of an excuse than cause of the famine. There is much truth in this. The manufacturing business was overdone, and Manchester goods can be bought to-day at twenty-five per cent less in Siam than in Manchester.


Rebel Outrages in Alabama.

Washington, March 5.—The following has been forwarded to the headquarters of the army:

Headquarters, District of Corinth,
Miss., Jan. 24, 1863.

Captain: I have the honor to submit a few of the outrages committed upon citizens of Alabama by the Confederate troops, while all of their leaders from the President down are boasting of their carrying on this war in accordance with laws that govern nations, and are charging upon our troops all kinds of depredations and outrages. I think a few simple facts might put them to blush and make those parties and the press and people who are seconding the efforts of Davis to cast a stigma upon us ashamed of the work they are doing. I will state merely what I know to be true. Abe Carrad and Mr. Mitchell were hung two weeks ago for being Union men. They lived in the Hockleborn settlement, Marion county, Ala. Mr. Hallwork and his daughter, of the same country, were both shot for the same cause. The latter was instantly killed. The former is still alive, but will probably die. Peter Lewis and three of his neighbors were hunted down by 100 bloodhounds and captured. The houses of Messrs. Palmer, Welsby, Williams and three Weightmans, and of some 30 others were burned over their heads. The women and children were turned out of doors, and the community was notified that if they allowed them to go into other houses or fed or harbored them in any manner they would be served the same. Mr. Peterson, living at the head of Bull mountain, was shot. I am now feeding some hundred of these families, who, with their women and children, some gray haired men, and even cripples on crutches, were driven out and found their way through the woods and byways without food or shelter. All this was done for the simple reason that they were Union men and that they had brothers or relatives in our army. The statements of the people are almost beyond belief, did we not have the evidence before us. I am informed by them that there are hundreds of loyal men and women in the woods of Alabama waiting an opportunity to escape.

I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

G. M. Dodge,
Brigadier General.


Quite a Difference.–Some time since, dispatches informed us that the gunboat Lexington had conveyed 4793 rebel prisoners, taken at Arkansas Post, to Cairo. It looked like a hard story, but was explained when it was known that the Lexington “convoyed” the troops, they being conveyed in transports.1


Stamping the Dead.–Commissioner Boutwell has decided that the certificates given by clerks of cities and towns relative to the burial of the dead (chap. 21, sec. 4 of general statutes) must have the revenue stamp of ten cents affixed.

MARCH 7, 1863


Let England be Warned.

Conscientious and prudent Englishmen begin to be troubled, as well they may be, at the fact that their ship-builders and capitalists are furnishing to the confederates a formidable navy. The accounts given by the London News of the vessels already completed and of those building in British ship yards are undoubtedly true. The facts, indeed, are notorious. The English papers do not pretend to deny them, but they labor with limping casuistry to show that their government is not responsible; it does not officially know the facts; it has no right to assume that its citizens are violating the neutrality laws; and it cannot act except upon definite information. That is the style of talk by which the British press attempts to cover the guilty neglect of its government to arrest the departure of a fleet of pirates from its ports—a neglect that can no longer continue without becoming guilty connivance. Mr. Taylor, member of parliament from Leicester, recently said in a public speech that there must be no more Alabamas, if his government would maintain its self-respect or cultivate the good feelings of the American people. And he added forcibly that if the Alabama had been bought by Mexican money to prey upon French commerce, nobody doubts that its character would have been detected by the British government, and that its career would have been stopped. That places he affair in its true light; the British government thinks it safe to deal with the United States as it would not dare to deal with its continental rival.

But it is not safe for us to tolerate such perfidy under the garb of neutrality. If we have got to fight a powerful British fleet, we had better have actual war with Great Britain, and so we get some compensation for our losses. Now is the time for our government to show that it is not so cowed by its domestic embarrassments as to submit to such wrongs and indignities from other powers. Let Mr. Seward throw aside the subtleties of the diplomatic style, and address such bold and decisive words to the British government as the facts demand. England should be told, calmly but plainly, that she must stop the fitting out of rebel vessels at her ports to prey upon our commerce, or we shall consider it just cause of war, and let loose our navy and privateers upon her merchantmen in every sea; that she is longer to be permitted to visit actual war upon us under pretense of neutrality.

If the vessels now building in England for the rebels get out, it ought to be war with England. It would be better in every view than to allow British ships to destroy our commerce, with no power to retaliate. But the right word, spoken frankly and boldly by our government now, will prevent rather than provoke war. The British government will not dare go to war in such a cause. The English people will sustain the justice of our demand, and will compel their government to put an end to this most cowardly and flagitious business of piracy in English vessels and by English crews. If our government hesitates now, or whines and supplicates, when  it ought to demand and warn, then we shall see our commerce driven from every sea by this fleet of British pirates; we shall have all the risks and losses of a war with England, with no means of redress; and when we have thus been crippled and degraded, perhaps England will consent to consummate our ruin by outright and honest war. So far as the British government is concerned, we must base no expectations upon the requirements of justice and international comity. If we demand fair treatment and insist that we will have it, “peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must,” we shall get it—not otherwise.

The Siege of Vicksburg.—The reports from Vicksburg have been highly sensational of late—a great battle and the repulse of our troops, with thousands of them driven into the river and drowned; eh evacuation of Vicksburg by the rebels, leaving us in peaceful possession, and the passage of our fleet through the cut-off—none of which are true, but all indicating that important work is expected at once in that quarter. The only true report is an unpleasant one. The iron-clad ram Indianola, the strongest and best boat of our western fleet, has been captured by the rebels. They used the Queen of the West, which they had lately taken from us, against the Indianola, and will now have both to use against the rest of our fleet. This puts an unfavorable aspect on the situation at Vicksburg. With such a rebel fleet below Vicksburg, it will hardly be safe to send down our gunboats and transports, even if the great cut-off proves navigable. As to the prospect of getting into the rear of Vicksburg by way of the Yazoo pass we get no recent information. Gen. Grant sends confident predictions of success to Washington, which we hope may be realized. Up to the 2d the Richmond papers have no news from Vicksburg, from which we may infer that nothing important had occurred previous to that time.


Our Mediterranean Fleet in Danger.

The following is an extract from a naval officer’s letter, dated on board the U.S. steam gunboat Chippewa, off Algeciras, 18th January 1863: “An English officer, who is married to a relative of the late Com. Shaw of the U.S. Navy, and who is with the North, heart and soul in this struggle, informs me that a project is on foot in England, superintended by Maury of the rebel navy, to capture the United States squadron on the Mediterranean station with iron clad vessels, now said to be nearly ready for sea. The movements of our ships are watched, and we sometimes learn from the London Times of movements made in this squadron. The English officer told me that the releasing of the Sumter and our capture constitute the first act in the drama, and then the capture of the Constellation or St. Louis, or both, or their destruction if they refused to surrender. I saw the Sumter under steam a few hours after the consultation with the Englishman, who, in shaking hands with me, said, ‘Your storeship is watched, as Semmes left a diagram of her with a Welsh captain, who gave it to the rebel sympathizers in Plymouth.’ I fear that the Release, which we expect here about the 1st of April, is in danger. She had a narrow escape from the Alabama before. We have to keep out of English waters in any encounter with the Sumter. Our navy department should try and send some iron clad vessels here, if possible.”

See “Big Story of Little Men” in 28 January 1863 entry.

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